Over 1,500 alumni of the Tennessee-based Rhodes College, which President Donald Trump’s U.S. Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett attended as an undergraduate, have signed on to a letter opposing Barrett’s Supreme Court nomination. A full 1,513 alumni signed on to the letter, which singles out Barrett’s positions on issues including abortion, LGBTQ rights, and the landmark healthcare law known as the Affordable Care Act, which is set to be the subject of a Supreme Court case shortly after Election Day, when — depending on the speed of her confirmation process — Barrett could already be on the court.
The letter was written by Rhodes alumni Rob Marus and Katherine Morgan Breslin, who wrote that they are “firmly and passionately opposed to [Barrett’s] nomination.” They added:
‘We are likewise firmly and passionately opposed to Rhodes administrators’ attempts to embrace Amy Coney Barrett as an alumna of our beloved alma mater. We oppose this embrace because we believe both her record and the process that has produced her nomination are diametrically opposed to the values of truth, loyalty, and service that we learned at Rhodes.’
As the letter references, Rhodes president Marjorie Hass has issued public support for Barrett, and she reiterated this support after the emergence of the anti-Barrett letter from Rhodes alumni, although she did laud the letter as an important part of the national political conversation.
As mentioned, the anti-Barrett letter from Rhodes alumni got into some specifics. The letter insists that Barrett “has demonstrated a judicial philosophy and record that fails to serve and protect the vulnerable in our society, including immigrants, those in the criminal justice system, and individuals reliant on the Affordable Care Act.” Barrett has, in the past, expressed opposition to the Affordable Care Act, which the Trump administration has been trying to throw out — without a remotely comprehensive replacement plan in place. Through means like an expansion of Medicaid in states around the country, the Affordable Care Act provides health coverage for tens of millions of Americans.
There have been questions about how promptly that Senate Republicans will really get Barrett confirmed, because two members of the Senate Judiciary Committee — Republicans Mike Lee (Utah) and Thom Tillis (N.C.) — have tested positive for the Coronavirus. For now, Barrett’s confirmation hearings are slated to proceed as scheduled, beginning October 12 in the Senate Judiciary Committee.